Nash Finch's First-Quarter E.P.S. Increases 40%

Revenues and Earnings Increase Across All Business Segments



Apr 19, 2001, 01:00 ET from Nash Finch Company

    MINNEAPOLIS, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Nash Finch Company (Nasdaq:   NAFC), a
 Minneapolis-based food retailer and distributor, today reported net earnings
 of $3.3 million, or 28 cents per share, in the 12-week first quarter ended
 March 24, 2001.  The results represent a 43% increase over net earnings of
 $2.3 million reported in the prior year period.  Total revenues for the
 quarter were $908.0 million versus revenues of $877.4 million in the first
 quarter of 2000, a 3.5% increase.
     EBITDA (earnings from operations before interest, taxes, depreciation,
 amortization, LIFO and non-recurring items) totaled $24.9 million in the first
 quarter of 2001, or 2.7% percent of sales, which is a 24% increase over EBITDA
 in the first quarter of 2000 of $20.1 million, or 2.3% of sales.
     "The results of refocusing our business over the past three years are
 reflected in our improved revenues, and even more dramatically in our
 significantly improved earnings," said Ron Marshall, president and chief
 executive officer.  "All three of our business segments -- retail, food
 distribution and military -- posted revenue and earnings growth as our
 operating efficiencies continue to improve margins.  The quality metrics in
 our food distribution business are the best in the industry and allow us to
 continue to capture new accounts from our major competitors.  The new volume
 we gained during the last 12 months is driving down our cost of goods sold,
 and we're passing that savings on to our independent operators, which further
 drives new account capture."
 
     Business Segments
     Revenues in the company's retail segment for first quarter 2001 were
 $229.2 million, a 2.4% increase over revenues of $223.8 million in the first
 quarter of 2000.  Same-store-sales were up 1.1% during the first quarter,
 excluding the Southeast stores we recently announced as being sold to current
 food distribution customers.  Retail segment profit in first quarter 2001
 improved by 52% to $7.0 million, or 3.1% of sales, compared to $4.6 million,
 or 2.1% of sales in first quarter 2000.
     During the quarter, the company announced the openings of two new
 state-of-the-art Econofoods stores in Hudson, Wisconsin and Red Wing,
 Minnesota, providing the company key positions in both markets.  In addition,
 the company converted two recently acquired stores in Sioux Falls, South
 Dakota and New Prague, Minnesota to the Econofoods banner and store format,
 and substantially remodeled and upgraded stores in Rapid City, South Dakota
 and Monmouth, Illinois.
     "In the last three years, approximately 90% of our retail stores were
 either newly built, remodeled or expanded.  Those stores are delivering on our
 promise of a convenient shopping experience, unmatched freshness in perishable
 goods, and outstanding customer service," said Marshall.  "At the same time,
 our buying leverage on the distribution side has driven down our cost of goods
 in our retail operations and improved our margins."
     Nash Finch's food distribution segment reported revenues in the first
 quarter of 2001 of $457.7 million, compared to $437.8 million in first quarter
 2000, a 4.6% increase. The company previously reported $360 million in new
 wholesale business during 2000, business which has now been fully converted
 into the company's distribution centers.  The new volume contributed to
 improved margins in the business, with segment profit increasing by 24% to
 $11.9 million, or 2.6% of sales, in first quarter 2001 compared to
 $9.6 million, or 2.2% of sales, in first quarter 2000.
     The military segment of the company increased revenue in first quarter
 2001 to $221.1 million, up 2.7% from revenues of $215.2 million in the first
 quarter of 2000.  As with the other business segments, military segment profit
 and profit margins similarly improved during the quarter.  Segment profit was
 $4.9 million, or 2.2% of sales, compared to $4.5 million, or 2.1% of sales, in
 first quarter 2000.
 
     New President of Retail Operations
     During the quarter, Nash Finch announced that Michael Petersen joined the
 company as executive vice president and president of retail operations, with
 responsibility for the company's 119 retail stores.  Petersen was president
 and chief operating officer of Baker's Supermarkets in Omaha, Nebraska and has
 over 35 years of experience in the retail grocery industry.  Petersen was
 elected a corporate officer of the Nash Finch Company at the April 17 board
 meeting.
 
     Addition to Board of Directors
     On March 13, 2001, Nash Finch announced that Laura Stein, senior vice
 president and general counsel of H.J. Heinz Company, had been elected to the
 company's board of directors.
 
     Outlook
     Nash Finch previously announced expected earnings per share for fiscal
 2001 to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.65 per share, reflecting a 15 percent
 to 22 percent increase over earnings per share for fiscal year 2000 of $1.35.
     "We're clear on our strategy and we will stay focused the remainder of the
 year.  We believe 2001 is the year in which we can really leverage the
 efficiencies and innovations we've built over the last few years.  Clearly
 we're encouraged by the momentum the first quarter has provided us," said
 Marshall.
     A conference call to review the first quarter results is scheduled for
 10 a.m. (CST) today.  Interested participants can listen to the conference
 call over the Internet by logging onto investor relations portion of Nash
 Finch's website at http://www.nashfinch.com or through http://vcall.com .  A
 replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days and the text of the call
 will be archived on Nash Finch's website for 90 days after the call.
     Nash Finch Company is one of the leading food retail and distribution
 companies in the United States with over $4 billion in annual revenues.  The
 company owns and operates a base of 119 retail stores, principally
 supermarkets under the Econofoods, Sun Mart and Family Thrift Center trade
 names.  Independent retailers and military commissaries in approximately
 30 states and Europe are key customers of Nash Finch's food distribution
 business.  Further information is available on the company's website at
 www.nashfinch.com .
 
     Forward-looking statements combined in this news release are made under
 the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
 1995.  Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could
 cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.  Such
 factors may include, but are not limited to: general business conditions, the
 impact of competition, and other risks detailed from time to time in the
 Company's periodic reports available from the Security and Exchange
 Commission.
 
 
     NASH FINCH COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
     Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (unaudited)
     (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 
                                                         Twelve Weeks Ended
                                                    March 24,         March 25,
                                                        2001              2000
 
     Total sales and revenues                       $908,005           877,395
 
     Cost and expenses:
        Cost of sales                                803,384           781,834
        Selling, general and administrative           80,218            74,167
        Depreciation and amortization                 10,647             9,881
        Interest expense                               8,202             7,603
           Total cost and expenses                   902,451           873,485
 
           Earnings from continuing operations
            before income taxes                        5,554             3,910
 
     Income taxes                                      2,299             1,658
 
           Earnings from continuing operations         3,255             2,252
 
     Basic earnings per share:                      $   0.28              0.20
 
     Diluted earnings per share:                        0.28              0.20
 
     Weighted average number of common
      shares outstanding and common equivalent
      shares outstanding:
        Basic                                         11,508            11,406
        Diluted                                       11,729            11,411
 
        EBITDA (a)                                  $ 24,885            20,093
        EBITDA as a percent of revenue                 2.74%             2.29%
 
 
     NOTES
     (a) EBITDA (operating cash flow) represents earnings from operations
         before interest, income tax, depreciation, amortization, LIFO, gains
         from the sale of real estate, special charges and other non-recurring
         items.
 
 
     NASH FINCH COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
     Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
     (In thousands)
                                           March 24,  December 30,   March 25,
                                               2001          2000        2000
                                         (unaudited)               (unaudited)
     Assets
 
     Current assets:
        Cash                               $  1,421         1,534      13,259
        Accounts and notes receivable, net  122,859       132,992     126,406
        Inventories                         265,299       270,481     262,547
        Other current assets                 33,544        28,532      33,714
           Total current assets             423,123       433,539     435,926
 
     Investments and noncurrent
      receivables                            37,029        32,454      18,517
 
     Property, plant and equipment, net     264,091       256,516     239,968
 
     Goodwill, net                          114,182       113,584     114,777
     Other assets                            45,232        44,735      43,780
 
           Total assets                    $883,657       880,828     852,968
 
     Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
     Current liabilities:
        Current maturities of long-term debt
         and capitalized lease
         obligations                       $  5,174         4,646       3,162
        Accounts payable                    226,102       240,724     222,861
        Accrued and other liabilities        88,283        79,416      80,794
           Total current liabilities        319,559       324,786     306,817
 
     Long-term debt                         311,670       308,618     321,921
     Capitalized lease obligations           48,639        45,046      33,309
     Deferred credits and other
      liabilities                            16,676        17,838      17,006
 
     Stockholders' equity                   187,113       184,540     173,915
 
           Total liabilities and
            stockholders' equity           $883,657       880,828     852,968
 
 
     NASH FINCH COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
     Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
     (In thousands)
 
                                                       Twelve Weeks Ended
                                                  March 24,          March 25,
                                                      2001               2000
     Operating activities:
        Net earnings (loss)                         $3,255              2,252
        Adjustments to reconcile net income
         to net cash provided by operating
         activities:
           Depreciation and amortization            10,648              9,881
           Provision for bad debts                     982              2,744
           Deferred income taxes                       718              1,162
           Other                                      (679)               240
        Changes in working capital                  17,261             14,141
              Net cash provided by
               operating activities                 32,185             30,420
 
     Investing activities:
        Net increase in property,
         plant and equipment                       (12,480)            (6,266)
        Business acquired, net of cash acquired     (1,070)           (19,483)
        (Loans to) payments from customers          (5,263)               173
        Repurchase of receivables                   (4,325)            (6,700)
        Other                                       (3,917)              (778)
              Net cash used for
               investing activities                (27,055)           (33,054)
 
     Financing activities:
        Proceeds from long-term debt                 3,798              7,833
        Dividends paid                              (1,044)            (1,028)
        Decrease in outstanding checks              (8,547)            (7,218)
        Other                                          550                (83)
              Net cash used for
               financing activities                 (5,243)              (496)
                 Net decrease in cash               $ (113)            (3,130)
 
     Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:
        Non cash investing and financing activities
           Purchase of real estate under
            capital leases                          $3,866                 --
 
 
                                                        Twelve Weeks Ended
                                                   March 24,         March 25,
                                                       2001              2000
     EBITDA Reconciliation ($ Millions)
 
     Pre-tax earnings (a)                            $  5.6               3.9
 
     Add/(deduct)
           LIFO                                         0.2              (0.5)
           Depreciation and amortization               10.6               9.9
           Interest expense                             8.2               7.6
           Closed store lease costs                     0.3               0.6
           (Gains) losses on sales of real estate       0.0              (1.4)
     Total EBITDA                                    $ 24.9              20.1
 
     Other Data ($ Millions)
 
           Cash from operations - 1st qtr.           $ 32.2              30.4
           Debt to EBITDA - trailing 4 qtrs. EBITDA     3.3               4.0
           Interest coverage - trailing 4 qtrs.         3.2               2.9
           Debt to total capitalization                 66%               67%
           Total debt                                $365.5             358.4
           Capital spending - 1st qtr.               $ 13.0               8.2
           Capitalization                            $552.6             532.3
           Stockholders' Equity                      $187.1             173.9
 
     (a) Pre-tax earnings reflect continuing operations only
 
 

SOURCE Nash Finch Company
    MINNEAPOLIS, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Nash Finch Company (Nasdaq:   NAFC), a
 Minneapolis-based food retailer and distributor, today reported net earnings
 of $3.3 million, or 28 cents per share, in the 12-week first quarter ended
 March 24, 2001.  The results represent a 43% increase over net earnings of
 $2.3 million reported in the prior year period.  Total revenues for the
 quarter were $908.0 million versus revenues of $877.4 million in the first
 quarter of 2000, a 3.5% increase.
     EBITDA (earnings from operations before interest, taxes, depreciation,
 amortization, LIFO and non-recurring items) totaled $24.9 million in the first
 quarter of 2001, or 2.7% percent of sales, which is a 24% increase over EBITDA
 in the first quarter of 2000 of $20.1 million, or 2.3% of sales.
     "The results of refocusing our business over the past three years are
 reflected in our improved revenues, and even more dramatically in our
 significantly improved earnings," said Ron Marshall, president and chief
 executive officer.  "All three of our business segments -- retail, food
 distribution and military -- posted revenue and earnings growth as our
 operating efficiencies continue to improve margins.  The quality metrics in
 our food distribution business are the best in the industry and allow us to
 continue to capture new accounts from our major competitors.  The new volume
 we gained during the last 12 months is driving down our cost of goods sold,
 and we're passing that savings on to our independent operators, which further
 drives new account capture."
 
     Business Segments
     Revenues in the company's retail segment for first quarter 2001 were
 $229.2 million, a 2.4% increase over revenues of $223.8 million in the first
 quarter of 2000.  Same-store-sales were up 1.1% during the first quarter,
 excluding the Southeast stores we recently announced as being sold to current
 food distribution customers.  Retail segment profit in first quarter 2001
 improved by 52% to $7.0 million, or 3.1% of sales, compared to $4.6 million,
 or 2.1% of sales in first quarter 2000.
     During the quarter, the company announced the openings of two new
 state-of-the-art Econofoods stores in Hudson, Wisconsin and Red Wing,
 Minnesota, providing the company key positions in both markets.  In addition,
 the company converted two recently acquired stores in Sioux Falls, South
 Dakota and New Prague, Minnesota to the Econofoods banner and store format,
 and substantially remodeled and upgraded stores in Rapid City, South Dakota
 and Monmouth, Illinois.
     "In the last three years, approximately 90% of our retail stores were
 either newly built, remodeled or expanded.  Those stores are delivering on our
 promise of a convenient shopping experience, unmatched freshness in perishable
 goods, and outstanding customer service," said Marshall.  "At the same time,
 our buying leverage on the distribution side has driven down our cost of goods
 in our retail operations and improved our margins."
     Nash Finch's food distribution segment reported revenues in the first
 quarter of 2001 of $457.7 million, compared to $437.8 million in first quarter
 2000, a 4.6% increase. The company previously reported $360 million in new
 wholesale business during 2000, business which has now been fully converted
 into the company's distribution centers.  The new volume contributed to
 improved margins in the business, with segment profit increasing by 24% to
 $11.9 million, or 2.6% of sales, in first quarter 2001 compared to
 $9.6 million, or 2.2% of sales, in first quarter 2000.
     The military segment of the company increased revenue in first quarter
 2001 to $221.1 million, up 2.7% from revenues of $215.2 million in the first
 quarter of 2000.  As with the other business segments, military segment profit
 and profit margins similarly improved during the quarter.  Segment profit was
 $4.9 million, or 2.2% of sales, compared to $4.5 million, or 2.1% of sales, in
 first quarter 2000.
 
     New President of Retail Operations
     During the quarter, Nash Finch announced that Michael Petersen joined the
 company as executive vice president and president of retail operations, with
 responsibility for the company's 119 retail stores.  Petersen was president
 and chief operating officer of Baker's Supermarkets in Omaha, Nebraska and has
 over 35 years of experience in the retail grocery industry.  Petersen was
 elected a corporate officer of the Nash Finch Company at the April 17 board
 meeting.
 
     Addition to Board of Directors
     On March 13, 2001, Nash Finch announced that Laura Stein, senior vice
 president and general counsel of H.J. Heinz Company, had been elected to the
 company's board of directors.
 
     Outlook
     Nash Finch previously announced expected earnings per share for fiscal
 2001 to be in the range of $1.55 to $1.65 per share, reflecting a 15 percent
 to 22 percent increase over earnings per share for fiscal year 2000 of $1.35.
     "We're clear on our strategy and we will stay focused the remainder of the
 year.  We believe 2001 is the year in which we can really leverage the
 efficiencies and innovations we've built over the last few years.  Clearly
 we're encouraged by the momentum the first quarter has provided us," said
 Marshall.
     A conference call to review the first quarter results is scheduled for
 10 a.m. (CST) today.  Interested participants can listen to the conference
 call over the Internet by logging onto investor relations portion of Nash
 Finch's website at http://www.nashfinch.com or through http://vcall.com .  A
 replay of the webcast will be available for 30 days and the text of the call
 will be archived on Nash Finch's website for 90 days after the call.
     Nash Finch Company is one of the leading food retail and distribution
 companies in the United States with over $4 billion in annual revenues.  The
 company owns and operates a base of 119 retail stores, principally
 supermarkets under the Econofoods, Sun Mart and Family Thrift Center trade
 names.  Independent retailers and military commissaries in approximately
 30 states and Europe are key customers of Nash Finch's food distribution
 business.  Further information is available on the company's website at
 www.nashfinch.com .
 
     Forward-looking statements combined in this news release are made under
 the Safe Harbor Provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
 1995.  Any such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could
 cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated.  Such
 factors may include, but are not limited to: general business conditions, the
 impact of competition, and other risks detailed from time to time in the
 Company's periodic reports available from the Security and Exchange
 Commission.
 
 
     NASH FINCH COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
     Condensed Consolidated Statements of Operations (unaudited)
     (In thousands, except per share amounts)
 
                                                         Twelve Weeks Ended
                                                    March 24,         March 25,
                                                        2001              2000
 
     Total sales and revenues                       $908,005           877,395
 
     Cost and expenses:
        Cost of sales                                803,384           781,834
        Selling, general and administrative           80,218            74,167
        Depreciation and amortization                 10,647             9,881
        Interest expense                               8,202             7,603
           Total cost and expenses                   902,451           873,485
 
           Earnings from continuing operations
            before income taxes                        5,554             3,910
 
     Income taxes                                      2,299             1,658
 
           Earnings from continuing operations         3,255             2,252
 
     Basic earnings per share:                      $   0.28              0.20
 
     Diluted earnings per share:                        0.28              0.20
 
     Weighted average number of common
      shares outstanding and common equivalent
      shares outstanding:
        Basic                                         11,508            11,406
        Diluted                                       11,729            11,411
 
        EBITDA (a)                                  $ 24,885            20,093
        EBITDA as a percent of revenue                 2.74%             2.29%
 
 
     NOTES
     (a) EBITDA (operating cash flow) represents earnings from operations
         before interest, income tax, depreciation, amortization, LIFO, gains
         from the sale of real estate, special charges and other non-recurring
         items.
 
 
     NASH FINCH COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
     Condensed Consolidated Balance Sheets
     (In thousands)
                                           March 24,  December 30,   March 25,
                                               2001          2000        2000
                                         (unaudited)               (unaudited)
     Assets
 
     Current assets:
        Cash                               $  1,421         1,534      13,259
        Accounts and notes receivable, net  122,859       132,992     126,406
        Inventories                         265,299       270,481     262,547
        Other current assets                 33,544        28,532      33,714
           Total current assets             423,123       433,539     435,926
 
     Investments and noncurrent
      receivables                            37,029        32,454      18,517
 
     Property, plant and equipment, net     264,091       256,516     239,968
 
     Goodwill, net                          114,182       113,584     114,777
     Other assets                            45,232        44,735      43,780
 
           Total assets                    $883,657       880,828     852,968
 
     Liabilities and Stockholders' Equity
     Current liabilities:
        Current maturities of long-term debt
         and capitalized lease
         obligations                       $  5,174         4,646       3,162
        Accounts payable                    226,102       240,724     222,861
        Accrued and other liabilities        88,283        79,416      80,794
           Total current liabilities        319,559       324,786     306,817
 
     Long-term debt                         311,670       308,618     321,921
     Capitalized lease obligations           48,639        45,046      33,309
     Deferred credits and other
      liabilities                            16,676        17,838      17,006
 
     Stockholders' equity                   187,113       184,540     173,915
 
           Total liabilities and
            stockholders' equity           $883,657       880,828     852,968
 
 
     NASH FINCH COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
     Consolidated Statements of Cash Flows
     (In thousands)
 
                                                       Twelve Weeks Ended
                                                  March 24,          March 25,
                                                      2001               2000
     Operating activities:
        Net earnings (loss)                         $3,255              2,252
        Adjustments to reconcile net income
         to net cash provided by operating
         activities:
           Depreciation and amortization            10,648              9,881
           Provision for bad debts                     982              2,744
           Deferred income taxes                       718              1,162
           Other                                      (679)               240
        Changes in working capital                  17,261             14,141
              Net cash provided by
               operating activities                 32,185             30,420
 
     Investing activities:
        Net increase in property,
         plant and equipment                       (12,480)            (6,266)
        Business acquired, net of cash acquired     (1,070)           (19,483)
        (Loans to) payments from customers          (5,263)               173
        Repurchase of receivables                   (4,325)            (6,700)
        Other                                       (3,917)              (778)
              Net cash used for
               investing activities                (27,055)           (33,054)
 
     Financing activities:
        Proceeds from long-term debt                 3,798              7,833
        Dividends paid                              (1,044)            (1,028)
        Decrease in outstanding checks              (8,547)            (7,218)
        Other                                          550                (83)
              Net cash used for
               financing activities                 (5,243)              (496)
                 Net decrease in cash               $ (113)            (3,130)
 
     Supplemental disclosure of cash flow information:
        Non cash investing and financing activities
           Purchase of real estate under
            capital leases                          $3,866                 --
 
 
                                                        Twelve Weeks Ended
                                                   March 24,         March 25,
                                                       2001              2000
     EBITDA Reconciliation ($ Millions)
 
     Pre-tax earnings (a)                            $  5.6               3.9
 
     Add/(deduct)
           LIFO                                         0.2              (0.5)
           Depreciation and amortization               10.6               9.9
           Interest expense                             8.2               7.6
           Closed store lease costs                     0.3               0.6
           (Gains) losses on sales of real estate       0.0              (1.4)
     Total EBITDA                                    $ 24.9              20.1
 
     Other Data ($ Millions)
 
           Cash from operations - 1st qtr.           $ 32.2              30.4
           Debt to EBITDA - trailing 4 qtrs. EBITDA     3.3               4.0
           Interest coverage - trailing 4 qtrs.         3.2               2.9
           Debt to total capitalization                 66%               67%
           Total debt                                $365.5             358.4
           Capital spending - 1st qtr.               $ 13.0               8.2
           Capitalization                            $552.6             532.3
           Stockholders' Equity                      $187.1             173.9
 
     (a) Pre-tax earnings reflect continuing operations only
 
 SOURCE  Nash Finch Company